Min­is­ter says no to refuge for Dou­glas

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Dou­glas Shire’s push for a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence shel­ter may be stalled be­fore it starts with Child Safety Min­is­ter Shan­non Fen­ti­man say­ing the re­gion is ad­e­quately re­sourced.

Dou­glas Mayor Ju­lia Leu has re­quested a meet­ing with Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk dur­ing next month’s com­mu­nity cabi­net in the Far North to seek sup­port for a new fa­cil­ity that will cost up to $1 mil­lion to build.

But speak­ing in Cairns on Tues­day, Ms Fen­ti­man said she was happy to meet Ms Leu, but there was no cur­rent need for more fa­cil­i­ties, ei­ther in Dou­glas or in Cairns.

“We’re go­ing to con­tinue to work with the Dou­glas com­mu­nity, but there is ca­pac­ity in the re­gion,” she said.

Ms Fen­ti­man an­nounced 24 new child safety po­si­tions for the Far North who will start work­ing over the next two years. She said the back­log of cases wait­ing for at­ten­tion had been wiped, but the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, ice use and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence was in­creas­ing de­mand.

“The case loads that our child safety of­fi­cers have now are, on av­er­age, 18,” she said.

“The tar­get is 15. We’ve never ac­tu­ally man­aged to bring case loads down so our staff are over­worked and stressed. This in­vest­ment will do it.”

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